Do you feel the need to get closer to nature? Tourism can paint a bad image of tank top laden tourists trampling flowers and leaving a large footprint in a pristine nature area where no footprints should exist. Sustainable tourism is about leaving a place in as good or better condition than you found it. It brings support to the local community and understands that sometimes the best tourist attractions aren’t touristy at all. Nicaragua is a great destination for discovering green landscapes in a sustainable way!
Keep reading below to discover our top 6 sustainable-friendly reasons to visit Nicaragua!
1. LAND OF LAKES & VOLCANOES
Not for the faint of heart, there are 40 volcanoes in Nicaragua which are both active & inactive (Brittanica). Two of these Volcanoes are on Ometepe-island. Volcano trekking is a popular activity in these areas. There is also a thing called Volcano boarding. This seems both insane and incredibly fun at the same time. Best of luck!
There are many lakes in the area as well. Some are so large they are called ‘sweet water sea’. Of course, because there are so many lakes, there are also lots of possible activities! Guided fishing trips are a nice way to spend some time enjoying the serene beauty from a unique perspective. And also, hey – a day spent fishing provides you with a nice meal! Kayaking is another popular activity and it is possible at the Charco Verde Reserve lagoon on Ometepe. Ometepe island is located on Lake Cocibolca, the world’s 19th largest lake, so just being there reserves you a spot in the ‘I’ve visited unique places’ club. You know the one. The lakes and volcanoes in Nicaragua are said to be among some of the most popular among travellers reasons to visit Nicaragua.
2. ENJOY THE DIVERSE WATER ACTIVITIES
ON THE COAST
With it’s warm sun and irresistible crystal blue waters, Nicaragua’s coastline has a bountiful offering of activities to enjoy. If you are looking for amazing surfing opportunities, Nicaragua has highly sought-after surf beaches scattered along the Pacific coast. If you are an experienced surfer, some of the best surfing spots in Nicaragua are San Juan del Sur, Popoya break on Playa Sardinas and El Astillero.
If you are one for underwater adventure, there are many diving excursions offered on the Carribean coastline and the Nicaraguan waters have some well-preserved and isolated diving spots. You can swim with eels, dive with sharks or have a dolphin dive, but remember always to choose your excursion with responsible companies respecting the environment. If you are wanting to visit Nicaragua for diving possibilities, it is a good option for getting the scuba diving license with an economical price. Corn Island is a popular scuba diving destination in Nicaragua.
Take also the time to enjoy the thermal springs! Thanks to the volcanoes there are so many hot springs and geysers in Nicaragua, that you should be able to find one nearby whatever city you find yourself in.
Nicaragua is an affordable place to travel, even more so than its neighbor, Costa Rica. The current cost of living in Nicaragua makes for a comfortable trip for most who live in the EUR / USD zone. As of June 2020, the córdoba exchange rate is 1 Córdoba = 0,026 EUR / 0,029 USD.
Nicaraguan food costs are stated to be on the low side of average food prices, especially in the markets or restaurants. If you are traveling with a small budget, markets which offer local fare such as meats, fish, and locally grown fruits and vegetables will have the more affordable prices on these food items. As the most sustainable way to travel is to make purchases directly from the locals, instead of touristic chain restaurants, you should really try it in the local way. Not only your palate, but also your wallet will thank you!
Due to higher fuel costs in certain areas, transportation costs can be closer to (but still below) the European standard. Most recently estimated at about 1USD/litre. Regarding the environment and your wallet, the best is to choose public transportation when possible. The best place to catch a bus is the capital, Managua, from where you can travel with the so-called chicken buses (old school buses transformed to public transportation) to different cities of Nicaragua. In smaller towns you’ll likely find tuk tuks instead of traditional taxis.
4. DIVERSE WILDLIFE
Nicaragua is teeming with interesting wildlife! Home to three-toed Sloths, the indigenous jaguar, spider monkeys, Turquoise-browed motmots, the cougar, ocelot, northern tamandua (anteater) & armadillo, this Central American country will keep any wildlife fan happy.
Some of the interesting water species are the Bull shark (called the ‘Nicaragua shark’ which can survive in sweetwater) and the Sawfish.
There are several threatened / endangered species in Nicaragua. A few of these are the green macaw, warbler and a variety of sea turtles (loggerhead, olive, Pacific and leatherback). So keep your eyes open, as seeing some of these animals is a rare treat indeed. Why not keep a journal of all the different species sightings during your trip!
5. AMAZING VIEWS
The views in Nicaragua are not only any traveler’s dream, but incredibly variable. The wide assortment of landscapes allow many different types of vegetation from rainforests to a dry tropical forest. In addition to the lush forests, amazing waterfalls, majestic volcanoes, tropical beaches and sweet water lakes give Nicaragua an incredibly diverse and beautiful landscape.
Add to that, the freshness of an undisturbed morning dew and a breathtaking sunset spread across a wide sky and you may find yourself in a highly instagrammable piece of scenery which you may not want to leave behind.
Nicaragua is called the ‘Nature lovers paradise’. It’s an incredibly biodiverse country which touts pristine nature areas in a plethora of breath-taking habitats.
Ecotourism in Nicaragua is a bit different than the ecotourism you can experience elsewhere. Many people refer to Nicaraguan ecotourism as real ecotourism. Why? Because there are a reported 70+ protected areas and nature reserves in Nicaragua. Also, because most of the sites are managed by local farmers or conservationists. The ecotourism factor alone is an incredible reason to visit Nicaragua!
The benefit of having these people guide you? They know all the good stuff! They can discuss with you about the farming methods. They know where the really amazing hidden spots are – and they are usually happy to share it all with you! The best part? You can be confident that your money is going right back into the community.
If you are looking for a Unesco site to visit, look no further. In 2010, Ometepe island was declared a UNESCO BIOSPHERE RESERVE! Ometepe holds an endless array of nature and history. There is a treasure trove of Pre-Columbian petroglyphs on the island and as a biosphere reserve, every place you see is a part of the ecotourism experience.
Touring through the pristine nature and in places where there are not many other tourists, just serves to make your trip more special – more memorable – more you!
Many travellers may wonder if Nicaragua is safe for travellers to visit, after periods of unrest. Nicaragua is said to be as safe as any Central American country for travellers. As tourism is a mainstay for the economy in Nicaragua, it is in the interest of the local populace to create a safe atmosphere for outsiders in order to encourage an increase in tourism benefits for the communities. While it is strongly advised to avoid demonstrations of any kind, and to exercise caution when in unfamiliar surroundings or out at night, Nicaragua is said to be reasonably safe for travellers by the plethora of travellers and bloggers who have shared their experiences online.
If you are searching for a socially responsible way to enjoy diversity in nature, memorable experiences and beautiful views at an affordable travellers price, then Nicaragua is for you!
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